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ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, CROSS STONE, TODMORDEN

IN THE TOWNSHIP OF STANSFIELD

 

   
   
There has been a church here since about 1450 and it was built as a Chapel of Ease for Heptonstall Parish to serve the townships of Stansfield and Langfield. It is built high up on the hills above the Todmorden valley, with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. No way up to it is easy and it must have been quite a task to get a coffin up there on a snowy day in winter. It wouldn't have been very pleasant for the mourners either, who would probably have had to walk to the graveyard.
   
Evidence of an earlier church building is shown by a stone lintel bearing the date 1619, which now rests ontop of a row of coal houses belonging to a terrace of houses. It was removed from St. Paul's when the church was re-built in 1833.
   

The inscription on the stone lintel reads:

1619 Dove Deo

   

In 1643 the vicar was a Jonathon Scholfield, who in that same year led a Parliamentary assault singing Psalm 68. By 1670 Samuel Gregson was the curate. He was the son of Robert Gregson and owned property in Mytholmroyd, namely, Stoney End, a clothiers house, dated RG1629, the RG for his father. Later, two of the infamous Cragg Vale Coiners lived here. He also owned Thimeley Bent, a farmhouse near to Stoney End, dated 1500, and which was rebuilt in 1908. Both these properties were sold in 1673.

Some papers relating to Langfield in 1786 say in reference to Cross Stone, "The gift of the said chapel, belongs to the Vicar of Halifax for the time being and the chapel is repaired by and at the expense of the inhabitants of Stansfield and Langfield, Stansfield paying two thirds and Langfield one third."

By 1829, John Fennel was vicar. Before he got the Cross Stone appointment, he was a Methodist preacher, being the first head teacher in 1812, at Woodhouse Grove Wesleyan School. He was dismissed from there for spending too much time arranging picnics for his niece Maria Branwell, who later married the Rev. Patrick Bronte. John's wife died at Cross Stone Parsonage on May 26th 1829, soon after his appointment there. He is later reported to be living in Castle Street, where he took in boarders, possibly to supplement his vicar's pay.

 

In 1833 the church was pulled down and a new one built on the same site. Some of the bits of the old building were taken by cart down the hill to Swan, at Millwood, and rebuilt into a house called Swan Grove which is on the left hand side of Halifax Road. It is reported that the graves were also disturbed and bones taken out of them.

In one part of the church building was a caretaker's cottage where Mally Stephenson bore a son called Robert. This family were involved as clerks of the church for a considerable length of time. One Robert served for 39 years and died in 1840 and another Robert Stephenson served from 1861 and in 1885 was presented with a timepiece in a black marble surround for his services of 24 years.

During the 1800's when Joseph Atkinson was vicar at St. Mary's, he also had the task of taking the Sunday services at both St. Mary's and St. Paul's. One would be held in the morning and one after lunch, so he would have a quick meal and then dash off to take the other service. They would alternate the times, so that if St. Mary's was a morning service one week, then the next week, it would be an afternoon service and vice versa for St. Paul's. The Rev. Atkinson also had a small farm at Roomfield and was regularly to be seen in his clogs, driving his stirks to St Mary's churchyard to graze.

Also sometime in the 1800's Charles Eastwood was employed as a farmer's man to George Eccles who ran the White Hart Inn. His duties were to look after the travellers' horses, feed the pigs and generally make himself useful. He made a request whilst he was still alive that when he died and before he was buried at Cross Stone, the hearse should stop at Butchers Laith, near the church, his coffin be taken out and the lid opened, so that he could look over Langfield and his birthplace one last time. This event didn't happen as it was thought that his eyes were dim!!

   
In 1881 the church had to close for repairs, which cost £500 and it was reopened on 29th September 1881. In 1889 more extensive alterations were needed and it again closed and reopened on the 14th December 1889. The Bishop of the Diocese was present and read the dedication prayer and also preached the sermon. The cost of the alterations was £1,600.
   
By 1894 dry rot had attacked the church and a sale of work was held over the two days of 4th and 5th of December. The repairs had cost between £120-£130 and the sale raised £180. More than enough to pay for the repairs with money left over.

Please click on image to enlarge

Photo kindly supplied by Frank Woolrych

   
In 1911 there was a dedication by the Lord Bishop of Wakefield for the peel of bells, oak reredos, 3 stained glass windows and other gifts. In 1994 Cross Stone and Todmorden parishes merged.
   
In recent times the fabric of the building became unsafe and the church was closed and converted to a private house. The congregation moved down the hill, where for a brief time the people used the old NATIONAL SCHOOL building at Priestwell. In due course they moved to the churches in Todmorden.
   

The Endowed School

A few years after 1713 a man named Pilling collected £65 from friends in London and with local help as well, he built a schoolhouse near Cross Stone Church. It was maintained by the chapelry and in 1743 the interest on the money made £3 a year, which paid for the free instruction of six poor children. The teacher was the chapelry clerk and he was paid by the parents of the 30-40 schoolchildren for instructing them in reading and writing.

A William Greenwood says that he held school on Sunday mornings and up to twenty children attended. They were charged one penny a week. Quills cost half a penny, copy books two pennies, a reading easy was sixpence and "rithmetic" was one shilling and eight pence.

   

There is an inscription dated 1805 on the wall of the school, which says:

Train up a child in the way

he should go

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Prov.XX11.6 1805 Thos. Ashworth Sculp.

   

Built into the east side of the church wall are the stocks, which are the most well preserved in the area.

 

 

The top room housed the school and the bottom served as the jail, whilst the far right hand end of the house was the home of the schoolmaster.

 

 

   

The baptism, marriage and burial registers have been transcribed and are available on a series of CD's from the CALDERDALE FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY

They have also been transcribed in full by Douglas Wilson M.A. and are available for purchase, in several printed volumes, at the TODMORDEN INFORMATION OFFICE


   
   

Old and New Burial Grounds

(photos of the burial grounds kindly sent by Karen Greenwood)

   
The church is now closed to the public and is in private ownership. The original burial ground surrounds the church. It is closed to the public and there is no access except to those with influence. Even for those who do manage to gain entry, it is a jungle. The graves are poorly maintained.
Many have weathered and are unreadable, and many are inaccessible. Some are buried. This is why we are privileged to be able to publish the work of the Todmorden Antiquarians.
   
The new burial ground is sited across the lane from the church, and is vast. It is still in use today. Much of it is easy to access and many graves are in reasonable condition, but not all by any means.
   
   
   

Below is a collection of memorial inscriptions and photographs

from the new burial ground, followed by a complete index of those buried there with a plan of the ground, and a transcription of as many of the graves in the old burial ground as is possible to transcribe:

   
   

In Loving Memory of

Thomas Ingham STANSFIELD

Who died Nov 5th 1943 aged 73 years

Also his daughters

Lilian May, died June 30th 1910 aged 10 years

and Nellie, aged 18 years.

Also Mary Ann, his beloved wife

Died May 6th 1963 aged 92 years.

(kindly sent by their grandson Keith Stansfield)

Row 6/33

   

In Memoriam

Robert Sutcliffe GREENWOOD

Who died August 14th 1936 aged 56 years

At Rest

Also Joseph, son of the above aged 3 months

Also Margaret Agnes, wife of above

Who died May 13th 1949 aged 64 years

(Kindly sent by Keith Stansfield)

Row 6/34

   

In loving memory of Lily, wife of Albert Ernest NICHOLLS,

Newland Villas

Died July 30th 1928 aged 52 years

Also Cyril, son of the above

Died Sept. 8th 1956 aged 55 years

Also Tilly, wife of the above

Who died Sept 4th 1994 aged 92 years.

The vase inscription says 7th July 1941 in memory of Peter

son of Cyril & Tilly, born and died on this date.

(Kindly sent by Carol)

Row 18 Grave 10

   

In Loving Memory of Bertie
Beloved Son of Robert & Ellen HORSFALL of Cambridge Street
Born Sept. 26th 1894 Died April 13th 1913
Also the Above Robert HORSFALL
Died May 12th 1932 Aged 73 Years
Also of the Above Ellen HORSFALL
Died Jany 26th 1936 Aged 73 Years

To Memory Ever After

(kindly sent by Kathleen Cooper of California)

Row 4 Grave 56

   

In Loving Memory of John William UTTLEY of Eastlee,

Who died July 31st 1891 aged 39 years

Also of John, son of the above, who died April 18th 1882 aged 14 months

Also of Stephen, son of the above,

Who died May 14th 1916 aged 25 years

“Dearly Loved”

Also of Ellen Ann, wife of the above,

who died July 26th 1922 aged 72 years

“Peace Perfect Peace”

Also of Mary Ellen, daughter of the above,

who died March 2nd 1957 aged 81 years

   

In Loving Memory of Private Will GREENWOOD

The dearly beloved son of Thomas and Emily GREENWOOD

15th Royal Scots, attached to the M.G.C.

Who died of wounds in France Jan. 30th 1918 aged 25 years

“A Noble Life, A Noble Death”

Also of the above named Thomas GREENWOOD of Union Street South

Who died November 17th 1918 aged 52 years

“Until The Day Dawn”

Also of Emily, wife of Thomas GREENWOOD, died Jan. 9th 1931 aged 62 years

“Peace Perfect Peace”
   

In Loving Memory of Joseph MIDGLEY of Hollins Walsden

Born May 27th 1824 died Sept 25th 1898

His End Was Peace

Also of Sally wife of the above born Novr 1st 1833 died Septr 11th 1904

Thy Will Be Done

Also of Elizabeth BARNES daughter of the above named Sally MIDGLEY

Born March 9th 1857 Died November 8th 1909

At rest

   

In Loving Memory of Hannah, wife of JamesMITCHELL

of Hollins Road, Walsden

Who died Novr. 13th 1912 aged 26 years

Also Albert, died in infancy
   

In loving memory of a dear husband & father George ROWE, of Ramsden Wood, Walsden.

March 15th 1932. Aged 81 years.

Also Catherine wife of the above

April 24th 1936, aged 75 years.

(sent by Karen Greenwood)

 

In loving remembrance of Ann wife of Arthur WEST

 24 Sedburgh Ave. Marton, Blackpool.

Born Jan 27th 1873 died April 2nd 1940

also of her beloved husband Arthur WEST

 born March 3rd 1871 died May 21st 1941

 

In memory of Mary Hannah the daughter of Marmaduke

and Sarah Ellen MALLISON of Oldroyd

who departed this life February 5th 1878 in the eighteenth year of her age.

Also of Fanny their daughter born May 25th 1857 died September 25th 1880.

Also of the above named Sarah Ellen MALLISON

born February 28th 1836 died July 9th 1906.

Also of the above named Marmaduke MALLISON

born November 16th 1834 died May 8th 1908.

Also of Sally daughter of the above Marmaduke and Sarah Ellen MALLISON

born December 18th 1854 died 30th November 1924

At Rest

 

In Loving Memory of John STOTT Woodside Cottage

Born Jan 10th 1826, died Mar 26th 1902

Also Mary wife of the above born Feb 2nd 1836, died Nov 7th 1912

Also Hannah the dearly beloved Wife of Thomas Stott

Of Claremont Place, Todmorden. born Dec 9th 1860, died Sept 30th 1920

Also Thomas eldest son of the Above John and Mary Stott

who entered into rest May 14th 1948 in his 90th year.

Also John William son of the above born Sept 21st 1865 died May 22nd 1871

Also Annie daughter of the above born Oct 18th 1866, died Jan 7th 1867

Also Emily daughter of the above born Nov 26th 1867, died Dec 15th 1872

It is the Lord. Let Him do what seemeth Him good

 

In Memory of Willie the son of William and Alice BARKER

of Fir Trees, Bacup

Who died July 30th 1866 aged 9 months

Also of the above named William BARKER of Fir Trees, Bacup

Who died March 27th 1886 aged 53 years

Also of Alice his wife who died April 2nd 1887 aged 54 years

Also of Alfred BARKER son of the above

Who died August 7th 1902 aged 37 years

At Rest

 

Sacred to the memory of Abraham PILLING of Fair View Todmorden

who died July 31st 1888 aged 52 years.

Also of Jane wife of the above who died May 14th 1922 aged 71 years.

Also of Hannah daughter of the above

who died January 13th 1868 aged 7 months.

Also of William Arthur son of the above

who died April 22nd 1878 aged 10 months.

Also of Edith daughter of Abraham and Jane Pilling

born Apr. 14th 1872 died Dec. 5th 1957,

widow of Alfred NUTTALL of St Annes on Sea

and formerly wife of Ald. Robert JACKSON J.P. O.B.E.

 

In loving memory of Mary Hannah the wife of Alfred HAIGH

of Joshua St., Todmorden

who died Feby 1895 aged 27 years

 

In Affectionate remembrance of Alice Hannah

daughter of John and Mary BLACKA

who died Jany 27th 1872 aged 20 years.

Also the above named Mary who died Feby 18th 1880 aged 60 years.

Also the above named John who died Novr. 6th 1888 aged 69 years.

 

In memory of Eliza the daughter of Thomas and Grace HOLLINRAKE

of Lineholme Villas. Born Septr 3rd 1875 died Septr 12th 1875.

Also of Elizabeth Ann their daughter

who died Novr 6th 1875? Aged 11 years.

Also of the above named Thomas Hollinrake

who died November 17th 1890 aged 55 years.

Also of Grace relict of the above Thomas Hollinrake

who departed this life Nov 6th 1911 aged 72 years.

 

In remembrance of Elizabeth wife of Abraham GILL of Hallroyd

who departed this life Jany 1st 1871 aged 40 years.

Also of the above named Abraham Gill

who died Novr 13th 1894 aged 66 years.

 

Sacred to the memory of Mary

the beloved daughter of Edward and Hannah WOODHEAD of Shade

who died May 11 th 1871 aged 28 years.

Also of the above named Edward Woodhead

who died Novr 11th 1871 aged 76 years.

Also of the above named Hannah Woodhead

who died Jany 3rd 1876 aged 78 years.

 

Sacred to the memory of Thomas HEYWORTH of Woodhouse Langfield

who died Sept 19th 1875 aged 77 years.

Also of Sarah daughter of Thomas Heyworth and Ada MITCHELL of Wellington Road. Born Novr 6th 1886. Died Novr 7th 1887.

Also of Alice daughter of the above of Cliff Villas.

Born Dec 23rd 1890. Died Nov 20th 1918.

Also of the above named Thomas Heyworth MITCHELL.

Born Novr 12th 1856. Died May 14th 1924.

 

In memory of Emily daughter of Luke and Mary FIELDEN of Gauxholme Place

who died November 20th 1868 aged 7 months

Also of Joseph Arthur their son

who died September 19th 1871 aged 17 months

Also of Annie their daughter who died November 30th 1873 in her 2nd year

"Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven"

Also of Ernest their son who died January 24 th 1903 aged 28 years.

"Thy will be done"

Also of the above Luke FIELDEN who died January 23rd 1910 aged 69 years

Also of the above Mary FIELDEN who died July 5th 1912 aged 72 years.

     
     

JOHN WOODHEAD of Butcher Hill died March 27 1860 aged 53.

 

Harriet wife of Lewis HAIGH of Todmorden, died Sept. 29th 1875 aged 36 yrs.

                Also of Grace Ann daughter of Lewis and Amanda HAIGH of Todmorden

born Dec. 9th 1880, died Nov 6th 1881.

               Also of Amanda, wife of Lewis HAIGH of Todmorden

born Sept. 19th 1848, died July 6th 1866.

               Also of the above Lewis HAIGH, born Dec 16th 1848, died March 13th 1897.
               Also Herbert CARTER, died May 27th 1958 aged 74yrs.

 

Betsy , beloved daughter of James and Ann HAIGH of Todmorden,

born Jan. 22nd 1864, died Feb 10th 1882

               Also of the above named James HAIGH who died Jan. 17th 1905 in his 83rd yr
               Also of the above named Ann HAIGH who died Sept 14th 1907 in her 81st yr.
              Also of Thomas son of the above who died Dec. 9th 1937 aged 69yrs.

 

THOMAS LAW of Gauxholme died January 15th . 1873 aged 77

Also SAMUEL HOWARTH of Wadsworth Mill died April 19th . 1881 aged 51

Also JANE wife of above Samuel died November 15th . 1892

Also SUSAN their daughter died July 28th . 1893 aged 31

Also MARIA wife of Samuel Howarth died June 19th . 1884 aged 25

Also FRED their son died October 29th . 1895 aged 17.

 

Alice wife of Robert LAW of Knowlwood Todmorden

died April 26th 1861 in her 35th Year.

Also above named Robert died at Rochdale October 13th . 1885 aged 56

Also Elizabeth wife of said Robert died August 10th . 1895 aged 66.

 

Ruth daughter of William and Susey LAWof Willow Bank

died March 10th 1879 aged 16 months,

also an infant.

Also Hannah Mary their daughter died June 2nd . 1881 aged 5 years 10 months

Also above named William of Sandbed

born March 21st 1845 died November 27th 1911

Also Susey the wife of above named William

born December 19th 1843 died April 3rd 1930.

Also Olive sister of above named William LAW died April 22nd 1890 aged 41.

 

Sarah Ann LAW the beloved wife of Samuel LAW of 18, Bottoms, Walsden

who departed this life August 5th 1885 aged 41 years.

Also of Enoch their son who departed this life September 6th 188? aged 2 years

Also of the above named Samuel LAW who died April 20 190? aged 53 years.

 

 
 

All the graves have been painstakingly sorted and transcribed by Robert Priestley and Jean & David Uttley, in conjunction with the Todmorden Antiquarian Society, and we are grateful for their permission to publish the transcriptions.

click on the required link

 
 

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF ALL THE GRAVES IN THE OLD

BURIAL GROUND SURROUNDING THE CHURCH

 

The new yard is fully indexed by surname
Surname Index A-G Surname Index H-O Surname Index P-S Surname Index T-Z

ROWS 1-9

upper yard

ROWS 10-16

upper yard

ROWS 17-21

upper yard

ROWS AA-DD

new yard

ROWS EE-JJ

new yard

ROWS KK-TT

new yard

ROWS UU-ZZ

new yard

ROWS A-D

new yard

ROWS E-G

new yard

ROWS H-J

new yard

ROWS K-M

new yard

ROWS N-P

new yard

ROWS Q-S

new yard

ROWS T-V

new yard

ROWS W-Z

new yard

PLAN OF BURIAL GROUND

rough sketch only

may take a while to download

 

 

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